Preparing to study abroad requires more than you can imagine. Here are some tips to help you during this process
You have found a great university to study abroad, you have been accepted and now you can’t wait to start your international adventure. First of all, congratulations – now all you have to do is getting ready for the trip.
However, what should you take? Do you need travel insurance? How should you deal with culture and language while away?
To help you set off for this new adventure, we have listed our best tips on how to prepare to study abroad. Check it out below:
Leave all required documents ready
As you can imagine, studying abroad means traveling to another country. To do this, you will need a new type of identity document, a passport.
So the sooner you plan to have that document in hand, the better.
You will be asked to show your passport when leaving Brazil and entering your country of destination and, depending on your destination, you must also have a visa to study abroad.
By the way, it’s useful to know that your institution may require your passport to be translated in some cases.
This is usually a critical process, because having this type of personal document translated is extremely important, as it is a person’s main record when entering and staying in another country.
This type of service is called sworn translation – or public translation – and it can only be done by trained and qualified translators.
Another useful tip regarding your documentation is to have digital and hard copies of all your important documents (such as passport, insurance, credit card information, etc.) and store them in different locations.
It is best to leave a copy at home with your family or friends and have a digital and a printed copy with you. The digital version must be somewhere safe, but easily accessible, such as your email inbox or on a cloud server.
Learn more about the customs, culture and local people of your destination
Take the time to become more familiar with the country you are staying in. This means knowing, even if only briefly, the culture, history, geography, economy and government of your future home. Your study abroad experience will be enriched and your time there will be more meaningful.
Talk to other people who have been there and take up every opportunity to watch a movie and read more about the country in question and its culture. Also, this will help you avoid any offensive behavior.
And remember that being able to speak basic sentences in the local language can make a big difference during the first few days of adaptation.
Check the weather
This is crucial to help you know what to pack, as you will need to know what the most suitable clothes and shoes are.
Check a few different weather websites to make sure you get an accurate idea of the weather and plan accordingly.
If it’s sunny and warm, don’t worry about taking warm clothes and blankets. Also, you probably won’t need sandals or shorts if you’re going somewhere where temperatures are freezing.
Don’t buy everything before you reach your destination: you can always buy some things when you get there.
Also, remember your baggage allowance. Some airlines have very strict baggage allowance rules, so check that in advance before packing.
Consider your lifestyle
Think about where you’re going and what kind of lifestyle you can lead while abroad. If you are going to a busy city, bring comfortable shoes so that you can take many walks.
Also, consider the characteristics of the local community when packing. If you are going to a very conservative country, remember this when packing your belongings and bring clothes that will fulfill local expectations.
Insurance can be crucial when you are abroad if something happens to you or your belongings. Request a quotation from different brokers to find the best deal and check whether they offer student discounts.
Valuable articles insurance can be useful if your bag is lost or if something is stolen or damaged, for example.
Your policy coverage may vary according to the package you purchased, such as:
Delayed or canceled flights;
Personal belongings stolen or damaged;
Medical evacuation in case of a health emergency or natural disaster.
It is also worth checking what type of health insurance you may need while abroad.
Also check if you need to get a vaccine shot before you travel, make sure you have enough supply of your regular prescription drugs, and if you are covered if you get sick or hurt yourself while studying abroad.
Develop your language skills
Remember that being able to speak basic sentences in the local language can make a big difference during the first few days of adaptation.
Sign up for classes, ask fluent friends for help, download language teaching apps like Duolingo, and listen to podcasts spoken in the desired language during your daily commute to school – everything can be helpful.
Put your plan into action
Traveling, by nature, implies a bit of chaos. You can miss your flight connections, face unexpected last-minute changes, or other sudden blockages.
If you learn to overcome challenges and laugh a little at adversity, your experience of studying abroad will not only involve language and field learning, but you will also learn a lot in different aspects and grow significantly as a person – which is always good for your future.
Set off on this new adventure
Now that you have learned about some important aspects that should be considered when planning to study abroad, don’t forget to pay close attention to your documents. Proper documentation can ensure legal permission to stay in your country of destination.
If you need sworn translation services, remember to hire a specialized translator who is qualified to perform the task.
Fidelity Translations works with the major translation areas and has competent professionals to perform any type of service, with flexible delivery terms and commitment to quality.